MITSUBISHI has released a teaser photo of its facelifted Pajero Sport large SUV that will be revealed in full in Bangkok on July 25 ahead of an expected Australian showroom launch about January – almost a year after the refreshed Triton ute touched down in local showrooms.
While the big 4×4 wagon retains Mitsubishi’s Dynamic Shield family styling identity, it has advanced it with a pronounced three-bar chrome grille, taking it beyond the more subtle look it currently shares with the related Triton.
We will have to wait for the rest of the Pajero Sport story, but as Mitsubishi insiders are saying the makeover is relatively minor and mainly associated with styling updates inside and out, we don’t expect major powertrain changes.
The current model comes with a single powertrain choice – a 133kW/430Nm 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engine hooked up to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
It is offered in two specification levels – entry level GLX and upmarket GLS, with the latter available in five- and seven-seat configurations.
The Pajero Sport and Triton are both made in Thailand for global markets, hence the choice of Bangkok for the SUV launch.
Assuming January is the target date for the Pajero Sport launch in Australia, production of the upgraded model will almost certainly start in the second half of this year at the Laem Chabang factory, southeast of Bangkok.
Despite having been launched in 2015, the Pajero Sport is still kicking goals in Australia, with sales growing 6.4 per cent this year in a segment down 6.2 per cent.
Its 3616 sales for the first six months of 2019 places it sixth in the large SUV pecking order that is dominated by the well-entrenched Toyota pair, the Prado (9978) and Kluger (5693).
Growth by SUV models such as the Pajero Sport has made Mitsubishi one of only two companies in the leading cohort of car companies to grow overall sales this year.
Along with the ASX small SUV and Outlander mid-sizer, the Pajero Sport has grown Mitsubishi’s share of the SUV segment to a company record 11.7 per cent.